Orangutans are one of man’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom. They are the only great ape species in Asia, and they share 97% of human DNA. They have the ability to reason and to think, as well as to develop their own cultures. But a recently published study warns against the orangutan’s extinction – and it could all be due to human activity.
The new study, titled “Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans” and published in Current Biology, found that human activities like logging, mining, hunting, and deforestation, among others, have slashed the population of Bornean orangutans into half in just 16 years. That’s from 1999 to 2015.
Orangutans are endangered species that must be protected.
According to an estimate by the World Wildlife Fund, a little over 100,000 Bornean orangutans remain. For Sumatran orangutans, the estimated number is alarmingly less than 15,000.
The researchers and collaborators compiled field surveys from 1999 to 2015 to estimate the Bornean orangutans’ population.
“The decline in population density was most severe in areas that were deforested or transformed for industrial agriculture, as orangutans struggle to live outside forest areas. Worryingly, however, the largest number of orangutans were lost from areas that remained forested during the study period. This implies a large role of killing.”
The researchers also estimate that in the next 35 years, 45,000 more orangutans will disappear.
The researchers made their recommendations on how to prevent the extinction of orangutans. Quartz quoted Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University as saying:
“In addition to protection of forests, we need to focus on addressing the underlying causes of orangutan killing. The latter requires public awareness and education, more effective law enforcement, and also more studies as to why people kill orangutans in the first place.”
‘World’s Loneliest Bird’ Found Dead Next to Concrete Bird He Wooed for Years
RIP, Nigel the gannet.
For years, the 'world's loneliest bird' persevered to woo his rather stone-cold love interest. Nigel, a gannet, showed up on Mana Island in New Zealand in 2015, where he met the apple of his eye. The only problem was that his potential mate was made of concrete.
Some 20 years ago, conservationists in New Zealand planted 80 fake gannet birds on the island as part of their efforts to attract real gannets. Nigel was the only one to show up after many years, and he was the first gannet to make Mana his home in 40 years.
Every day since his arrival on the island, Nigel wooed his potential partner.
Rare Walking Fish With Hands Discovered Off Tasmanian Coast
The red handfish is not a good swimmer, so it walks on the seabed.
Every now and then, rare and weird creatures from across the globe make grand appearances. Scientists discover rare species one after another. Now, a team of divers has discovered a small population of fish that "walk" along the seabed off Australia's south coast in Tasmania.
What's weird is that this rare fish population has finger-like fins that help them walk across the surface of the ocean. Dubbed as the Red Handfish (Thymichthys politus), this is one of the rarest fish species in the world.
Today, only 20 to 40 individuals of these fishes have been found worldwide.
Eastern Puma Officially Extinct, Experts Declare
The last living eastern puma, mountain lion or cougar sighting was in 1938.
The Eastern Puma, also called the cougar, mountain lion, panther and catamount, has been declared officially extinct, according to a federal agency.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Eastern puma, which was last sighted 80 years ago, extinct, lifting all protection programs for the animal. The Eastern Puma has now been removed from the list of endangered species for the last time.